1. The Programme of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) aims to examine Australian and world reality from the standpoint of Marxism.
Marxist philosophy holds that the material world – matter – is primary. Ideas – consciousness – are the reflection of this objective reality.
Marxism is a guide to action, based on practice. It recognises all things in nature and society as constantly coming into being and passing away.
The Communist Party arises from the struggles of the Australian people. It aims to embody the highest ideals and hopes of the working class.
2. From this basic standpoint the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) views Australia as a capitalist society characterised by production for profit. Profit is derived from unpaid labour time.
Workers' labour power is purchased on the market by the owners of capital. Put to work in Australia, on average in half the working week it produces value sufficient to cover wages to maintain workers and their families. The value produced in the remainder of the working week constitutes surplus value, the source of profit.
The goods and services produced by workers’ socialised labour are privately appropriated by capitalists. They will continue to be produced so long as they can be sold for profit on the market.
The system of capitalist production leads inevitably to the alternating cycle of boom and bust and periodical crisis under capitalism.
3. It is inevitable that sooner or later these social conditions will impel people to organise to end the conflict between the socialised labour process and the private ownership of the decisive means of production, the big factories, mines and corporate farms, by the establishment of socialism. With socialism, production is planned and rational, and takes place for peoples' use.
To prevent the tiny minority of previous exploiters destroying the newly-established socialist system, the working class and its allies, who together can call upon the support of the majority of the people, will set up a new political state apparatus. Over time, this state withers away as society becomes self-managing.
In the socialist era, the material and moral conditions are laid to proceed to the higher epoch of classless communist society in which the full potential of all human beings is realised and the needs of all can be met.
4. We live in the era of imperialism, that stage of capitalism when monopolies and finance capital (i.e. bank and industrial capital merged) dominate; when the export of capital as against the export of commodities assumes pronounced importance; when the world has been divided among big banks, financial institutions and multinational corporations and when there are no longer any new territories to be seized without imperialist conflict.
The extraordinary advance of technology over the recent period does not alter fundamental social laws. On the contrary, it illustrates and sharpens those fundamental laws.
5. The present stage in the struggle to end capitalism in Australia is the battle to win Australian independence from the foreign imperialist interests and their local allies which constitute the core of Australian capitalism. Though the Australian people have achieved an important measure of formal independence, US imperialism holds decisive political, economic, diplomatic, military and cultural influence. The US has taken over from Britain as the dominant imperialism in Australia. The key sectors of Australia’s economy are owned or controlled by giant foreign multinationals and a few big local monopolies which are bound up with them through joint ventures, foreign borrowings, and trade. US imperialism holds 'de facto' state power.
6. The great cause which unites the Australian people is the struggle for Australian independence. The nation’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small number of foreign monopolies. As a result millions of ordinary Australians suffer intensified exploitation, growing debt and insecurity, increased repression and discrimination, bankruptcy. Australia’s natural wealth and heritage are looted for monopoly profit. The resulting struggles against foreign imperialist domination at the heart of Australian capitalism are objectively struggles for Australian independence, although the participants in many cases may not make this connection.
7. The working class is the leading class in this struggle. While imperialism takes a heavy toll on the lives of the majority of Australians; workers, farmers, small and medium local business people, self-employed, professionals, shopkeepers, black and white, irrespective of ethnic origin, the centre of its attack is aimed at the working class from whose labour it derives maximum profit. Large-scale production forces the Australian working class to be the most disciplined cohesive and politically-conscious class. With the working class as the core, peoples’ sentiment for anti-imperialist independence will be transformed into a mighty peoples’ movement building up to eventually launch revolutionary struggle against imperialist domination.
8. To maintain and protect foreign imperialist domination of Australia, a powerful state machine has emerged. It consists of the bureaucracy, police, courts, gaols, armed forces, intelligence agencies. It seems to stand independently over Australian society but in fact it exists to enforce imperialist domination. Parliamentary democracy with its limited formal democratic rights operates within this context.
While such rights have positive aspects, imperialist domination, capitalism and the state machine's repressive, violent character are still the central feature of the capitalist state. Australia’s ruling class uses the mass media, education system, culture, etc., to push a whole system of ideas which disguises imperialist domination and monopoly exploitation and presents them as inevitable. Capitalism's "natural" tendency is towards erosion of democratic rights and more open repression, particularly in periods of deep economic or social difficulties for the imperialists. There is always the danger that Australia's imperialist overlords will discard the democratic facade and rule through systematic, open, ruthless violence - fascism.
9. Imperialism gives rise to constant international instability and wars of aggression. The root cause of instability and war is imperialist expansionism and rivalry of and between the United States of America and the European Union and to a lesser extent, Russia. This expansionism and rivalry overshadows world events, carries with it the danger of world war and greatly influences the situation within Australia. Nor has US imperialism given up its dreams of destroying the People’s Republic of China or once again attacking the Republic of Cuba or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and other progressive countries. People in the underdeveloped countries and former colonies continue to struggle against the cruel debts imposed by unfair trade pacts, and the political interference, economic blackmail, and military threats of the imperialist powers. Ordinary people everywhere demand the right to live in peace. They are actively fighting to force their governments to abandon all aggressive policies and action. They want an end to all nuclear weapons, chemical and other means of mass destruction starting with the US, holders of the largest stock of weapons. The Australian people want an end to US military bases and involvement in imperialist wars.
10. The struggle for anti-imperialist independence embraces all people’s action to improve their lives. The Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) supports all demands which arise out of people’s struggle against imperialism.
In the course of that struggle people will conclude that parliament and the main political parties operate to administer the system on imperialism's behalf.
As an alternative to foreign imperialist domination, the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) supports demands to nationalise the key industries and financial institutions, to vigorously tax the large multinationals and the super-rich, and to expropriate and redistribute foreign-owned corporate farms. With the establishment of people’s democratic institutions at national and regional level, and people’s ownership of press, radio, TV and electronic media, the mass of Australian working people can be informed and consulted as they participate in the building of a new life. With this energy it will be really possible to wipe out poverty, provide high-quality health, education and social services for all the Australian people, and repair the damage done to the natural environment.
An essential task is to support a just Treaty with the indigenous people who were violently dispossessed by British imperialism, to end their dispossession, oppression and exploitation.
11. The foreign imperialists will fight all moves towards real Australian independence. In the face of likely ruthless and violent suppression by the capitalist state machine which serves foreign imperialism, and with the necessity of defending people’s democracy against aggression, interference and subversion, the people must be prepared for all means of struggle. Their hopes for a better life demand that they take power into their own hands.
12. The Party must be able to function under any circumstances and be able to maintain its work through rapid changes of conditions. In particular, full attention must be paid to the hostile activities of the state machine.
13. The strategic policy of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) is revolution by stages. The Party organises to assist the current stage of winning Australian independence and, through that, laying the foundations for Australian socialism and moving towards communism.
14. The Communist Party arises from the struggles of the Australian people. It aims to embody the highest ideals and hopes of the working class. It endeavours, from the scientific standpoint of Marxism, to examine Australian and world reality and participate in changing Australian society in accordance with the process of development which Marxism shows is actually going on. It strives for the most intimate possible knowledge of Australia, its history and its present situation.
The Party acts with complete confidence in the Australian people. Its organisation is among the people. It strives to work in accordance with the degree of understanding of the people at a given time and with the objective of step-by-step raising that understanding towards an understanding of the overall social process.
The Party seeks to inspire the working class to lead the way in building a massive people’s movement against US imperialist domination, involving all progressive Australian forces, winning over the middle forces, and isolating the handful of reactionary enemies of the people.
15. Members of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) accept a lifetime commitment to the welfare of the working class and the great cause of Communism.